From the eastern predawn skies, Morning Stars Venus and Jupiter gleam in a clear sky in this 30-second image made at 4:30 a.m. CDT from the Chicago area. Brilliant planet Venus is among the stars of Gemini nearing Pollux, one of the twins. Venus is moving rapidly eastward compared to the stars nearing its closest appearance with Pollux this weekend when they are 9 degrees apart. That’s about the size of your fist when you extend your arm.
Betelgeuse, a bright star in Orion, is visible to the upper right of Venus. The rest of Orion is outside the frame.
Bright planet Jupiter shines above Venus near the star Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus. The Hyades star cluster partly show in this image. The Pleiades star cluster shines above Jupiter.
Venus’ orbital motion is much faster than Jupiter. Compare their positions against the starry background to one from earlier this month.